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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  March 28, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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summer 200077 how long had you been out of prison at that point*? >> guest: released march 4, 2005 i had been out two years. the book about because i was featured on the front page on and "the washington post" for a book clubs said that was a result of my a consequence is it is about prison but is also my love of literature and how that change me into a different person. >> host: a question of freedom. r. dwayne betts. . .
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in criticism and it's another we into tonight's program i want to read the ending to his beautiful s.a., the book as a container of consciousness. and when we read, with our timber entirely attuned to the text for, we become our heads, we become the best book of all. where the words are now played and we are the page where the rest and we are the hall where they are heard and we are by god
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belleek in our mind is moving in that moment thomas brown about and rm, our g8 speed grades and it can't be so wrong to be feared or sent away. the loss of loved but over for a our tragic act continually regreted not when they prompt such clients, not when our rendering brings them together in a rare community of if joy. please help me in joining critical welcoming of fiction and critic. [applause] >> thank you, robert, thanks to the new school, thanks to everyone for coming to the national book critics circle ceremony for the best books of 2009. this is our 36th annual celebration of literature.
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i want to give a special thanks to the 24 member board of the national book critics circle. this year's board has include a conjunction of four past presidents and three winners. it is never dull. you can imagine to dustin critics, passionate, strong-willed, funny, bullying, weaving our way into the as yet to be determined next phase of book culture. i wish you could have been a fly on the wall as we sat around all afternoon over in the other building discussing and voting and revoting and discussing further. it's sort of like watching some of the best minds working in halftime and was quite exciting. i took a few notes about the language used, lines used about the work of people we are honoring tonight. words like ruthless, finely
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attuned, reference to permeability was important. ferocious, brio, and in one case like eating fudge. [laughter] think about that. you know, over this past year our focus has shifted toward the next decade of the culture and how we can continue to be a vital organization to the members from the country. we are thinking about such paradox sees as the love of books like the one that sort of in 195-dollar addition? system with the general excitement about the coming apple might have. we've invited members to speculative until the changes the envisioned in a series we call the next decade in the culture on critical mass. you can read it at
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www.bookcritics.org. beginning next week we will run posts about ad ventures a mickey reading. we are hearing about kindles and all the rest like roxanne robinson who has a six word blog post i think he will find provocative. whatever the technology the national book critics circle stays true to the vision of our founders of ivan dandrof among them who sit on 36 years ago at the algonquin round table to expand the table to a nationwide conversation among critics. today we have members, board members and advanced locations throughout the u.s. all joined together by a passion for books, a commitment to book culture, democracy and to promote quality writing and thinking through literature and criticism. as an organization the nbcc is skidding along the evolution of black culture alert to all the changes. we've expanded the capabilities of and we are now podcast, we
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are now being videotapes. we have a facebook page and we are involved in atwitter. we are also presented a person-to-person life programs and panels throughout the country from iowa city to san antonio to san francisco from the adp to be bea and pan american center of world fleeces and so forth but nothing takes away from the value the nbcc places on the awards each year and all the literary quality of the books we read and champion. so we gather to might once again to celebrate the best writing published in english in the u.s. published in the year 2009. first, however, we are conferring to words named after our founding members, ivan dandrof and nona balakian. i'm going to turn it over to scott, the chair of the committee who is when to introduce the winner of the
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citation for reviewing and scott by the way is a winner himself, scott mackall me. [applause] >> the balakian stations are given by the nbcc board of directors to a member of the organization whose work meets the standards set by one of our founders and expecting the were indeed. it was nona balakian who said the problem with most book reviews is they resembled a press for races except for not being. [laughter] and that was about 40 years ago in case anyone gets too nostalgic. this year it felt as if it were a golden age. we had twice as many submissions as a year ago. we had 45 members of the
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organizations and in their work with a great deal of effort we were able to come up with the list of the five finalists but the was not easy and i think i speak for some other people say we could have doubled the list of finalists. among the finalists this time was michael, william and wendi smith and of course the winner, joan acocella. at joan's request i am going to forego the exhausting list of books and the words that she has won and simply noted that her feeling of the arts and literature among them brings a great deal to her book criticism and welcome her to the stage. [applause]
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[applause] >> i thank the nbcc. book critics are often attacked in my experience on the grounds of who the hell do you think you are. i defend the trade of course that reviews encourage reading. but i have to say, and it is certainly true of me but i have to say that i rarely go out and buy more than one of the books that i read the reviews of in any given weekend usually it's not even one. i'm too busy reading books for money. [laughter] there must be a second reason for book reviewing, at least one
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and i would say that review is simply give us information on the world of books in our time. if we've report on politics and the economy and automobiles and realistic and style and food, we should report on books simply because they are part of our life. but i would like to stress another aspect of book refuse that's very important to me. at best, book reviews are essays the essay is a very old column commanded fine minds since cicero. later we got mantegna, francis bacon, dr. johnson, and of course the kind of essays that we call book reviews have all
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find mines, virginia woolf, who wrote i think every week during a certain period of her life, long period wrote book reviews for the tls arm signed. i don't like to do anything unassigned particularly if it's not especially well paid. i will make exceptions when the pay is good. how does amine essay differ from a lesser notice of a book? it's a very simple. it seems to me it differs in the way that art differs from what is not part. that is to say it should be shapely, it should be deep as well as personal. the person is so often to attached to the essay. this is the noblest function of
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book reviewing, and i think it's what we should aim for even if we only have 500 words which i certainly have had in my life and i am sure that you have. if we achieve it, our work will be no more in need of defending them a poem or an awful. if you think your situation is tough, considered dance reviewing which is the other thing that i do. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] >> good evening. i have had the pleasure of chairing the lifetime achievement award committee for several years. this evening i am reminded of the conversation with michael
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curtis a few years back. i asked him what eve and stood out in his decades-long career as the fiction editor of the atlantic monthly. well, he said in his gentlemanly way, i began taking stories from this wonderful new writer, this jc oates. i keep getting submissions and the submission was always jc oates. he chuckled i never knew if it was a male or female. how quickly we found out. since then, j.c. oates has gone to a career that speaks eloquently to the spirit of our work toward. the award named after ivan dandrof, the first president of the nbcc, seeks to recognize a broad as a stand and meaningful contribution to american literary culture. we know much about joyce carol oates much has been written and said about her and her work. so we ask a colleague of hers at princeton university to synthesize it for us.
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please welcome edmund wright, who incidentally is a final list tonight in the autobiographical category for his memoir city boy. [applause] >> thank you. please give her this. >> joyce carol oates is a writer of great compassion. she has written with warmth and understanding about the lives of the oppressed women, boxers, movie stars, overly proud fathers, fleshy central maine, suicidal grooms, tattooed girls, the desperately poor of detroit, rich people who look middle-age when they are young and rich when they are old, about a jeffrey dahmer murder who can never quite perfect the right kind of zombie and keep him alive, about a female vampire, a
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boy scientist and wealthy sleepwalker who dies of a kitten scratched. about a girl whose abusive parents turned her into a baby beauty queen and exploit her. she's written about a man who flees the holocaust for american and becomes a grave digger. who and what has she not written about? joyce carol oates has a range of a modern shakespeare it sometimes seems. i am human so i consider nothing human to be alien to be as the roman playwright be cleared. this may be her model. what is deeply interesting is to be the friend of a great writer, and i've been privileged to be over the last dozen years. we have offices right across the hall from each other. in what ways does the woman resembled love writer? the difference. i would definitely say that joyce the writer and the women are equally compassionate and curious and increasing the player is the right her deals regularly with violence, joyce is easily shocked by
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aggressiveness. the woman is however as savvy as the writer, capable sizing up the risky or dubious situation. she may be pure but she's not my youth. she may make for it and look easy but i see herself of her books as i recall the composition of blond merely deter end. joyce the woman for some reason is funnier, a lot more often than the writer. in real life joyce is a terrific teaser though a gentle one. joyce the woman is one of the most sensitive people dedicated friends i ever had and that drives perfectly with the heart and humanity of her writing. choice has friends everywhere many of them are here tonight. she is close to many other writers though you could never list them all. strangers assume such a productive writer must be a close but in fact joyce keeps up with friends and loves to give parties. i mean, she is amazing. she writes these reviews, she entertains regularly, she
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teaches full-time and writes a lot. laughter cushy is on a vast array of subjects from the inner workings of family dickinson's poetry to the fine points of boxing and brain damage suffered by the typical a sociopath. here the writer and the person coincide as they do in terms of energy. the writer turned out novels, essays, children's books, a young adult novels and mysteries whereas the woman as also in vigorous and her activities as a superb teacher and sought-after public speaker. maybe this listing sondes exhausting but in fact both as a writer and a person she is gifted with great power of concentration and column as well as artesian sources of creativity and generosity. joyce carol oates has empathy
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and understanding but she isn't analytic rhetoric she can be as dark as faulkner and like him she can place us into a process we don't quite understand first glimpse and slowly feel her way and our way into an alien sensibility. mostly however, she has an original of the of vision and style that makes her like no other writer. she can be shockingly central in her riding but always in the service of the dynamism of her characters. somewhere there is a bit of dialogue frost that seems to apply to her character as must we be central in order to be human and the other character is yes for compassion is in the deaths and tenderness is on the skin. in this passage she could have been describing the warmth and specificity of oates and her sympathy. that warmth and that figure is reached the current or most
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outstanding novelist. [applause] >> that's so sweet of you. [applause] >> edmund made this himself. [laughter] i was wondering what he was doing in his office working so hard all day instead of the usual talking on the phone. [laughter] i am so thrilled. i sat their holding my breath wondering what edmund would say next and he didn't say it. [laughter] i have actually one of their lifetime award. [laughter] i'm very touched and the slide
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show is so touching. i wonder who did that. it seems to be whoever had that concept of a writer is a little bit sadistic because everyone in the audience you know we don't really right our novels in that way. it's much more organized. [laughter] this person looks like she is under some trance or a spell and writing for 40 years or something. you should really come and take her and put her out of her misery or something. [laughter] i didn't know that i was supposed to see anything this evening so i have nothing compared the i want to thank of you so much. as you know as well as being a writer of fiction i'm also a critic and i love to write essays and reviews. i love to read essays and reviews. i think the non-fiction voice which shapes into a memoir is so engaging and extremely
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interesting. it's the kind of writing i often use in the new york review of books but there are many other wonderful publications that publish serious literary reviews, and i find it is our seeking into a nice warm bath and some wonderful dimension where the mind sort of opens up and you're just so interested in what you're reading. i could just sit forever and read in the family fought for reviews and essays. it's different from the consciousness of writing fiction of perhaps poetry or anything else where you are trying to mediate a voice and when i am working on an awful the fleeces are not my own voice but some say as representative of the fiction, the world of the fiction so the characters and the novels and of these different things come together and create a sort of place or music that's appropriate for
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that work so each novel or book of mine is quite different where as the reviewing voice is my own and the one i go back to as i feel a kinship with all of you in the remand 12 thank you all very, very deeply. [applause] >> good evening. i am part winslow. i had the pleasure of sharing our general nonfiction committee this year. i assume the slides are going to accompany my notation of our finals, the first of which was wendi's "the hindus and alternative history," penguin
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press. greg grandin, fordlandia, the forgotten jungle city. metropolitan books. richard holmes, "the age of wonder how they discovered the beauty editor of science." tracie kidder "strength in what remains," random house. and william vollman, "imperial viking." knott protocol that we are falling through these awards is that the chairman of the various categories will name the finalists and deductibles cetacean will be read by the person who blogged about it. and scott mclemme will talk about the war. >> we think of scientific
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research as a entranced will of rational formulas the age of wonder by richard holmes published by pantheon returns us to an era when astronomy was awesome, chemistry was a sexy and the study of anthropology could be totally unsuited for the hypocrisy. the product of exhaustive research, the age is nonetheless a page turner written with an easy-going elegance that is what he without over making jokes. the scientist on the pages were also poets, sometimes literally so. and the poets of the more traditional source are for their part racing to catch up, standing in the universe as said than anyone imagined before. the result is a book that is in all senses wonderful. [applause]
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>> good evening. i am very obviously not richard holmes. [laughter] but i'm thrilled -- i am katie from pantheon books -- and i'm thrilled to read this acknowledgement from richard come and we get pantheon are thrilled that this book has taken the award. sorry i'm a little nervous. first of all, i want to acknowledge my fellow nominees. each of whose books is as deserving as wind and each of whose list of previous accomplishments makes for a rather daunting reading. when the age of wonder was published last summer i was delighted by the response of american reviewers and critics because they allowed themselves to get much more excited than their british counterparts about the theme that inspired me to write this account of romantic science. but the human imagination is the common source for both artistic creation and scientific discovery. the enthusiasm prompted by the first encounter has proven lasting enough to recognize my book with this evening's accolade touches me deeply.
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and we had pantheon just want to say a particular think you to the nbcc who made this book well known in america so that more people than just us can have the joy of reading it. thank you from all of us. [applause] >> elizabeth taylor here to announce the finalists for autobiography. first of all, diane athill "somewhere toward the end," deborah gwartney "live through this stock quotes mifflin hard court. mary karr, "lit."
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"enemies of the people by family's journey to america." simon and schuster. and edmund white, "city boyte." and here to announce the final list is art winslow. [applause] the award is going to die en athill -- [applause] "somewhere towards the end." [applause] in the "somewhere towards the end," her report from the twilight zone of old age, and british author diana athill remarks it seems to me anyone looking back over 89 years ought to see a landmark marked with regrets. and yet they are few and far between in this memoir, and the ones that do appear, a dash of selflessness here, capitulation the laziness, shame over coolness toward a cousin's children are generally trying
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enough to show that athill takes to heart her own advice to the elderly. let us not waste our time. after all, the slide into pessimism is very boring and makes dreary the last year's even drearier. athill had the proverbial interesting life fortunate enough in her decades-long career at a publishing house to have added the works of writers including the is naipaul, philip roth, norman mailer, john updike, simone de beauvoir. that background detailed in an earlier memoir is reduced to a few fleeting illusions here as athill takes up the issue of our extended falling away in life. her clear on the and once final years while strict in the hint of romanticism is treated with optimism, despite the logic of finality that attend so much of what she describes in which physical deterioration and the inevitability of death often
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loom large. surely the part of life which is within our range, the mere fact of life is mysterious and exciting enough in itself, she writes, explaining her atheism. a particular is facing us all perhaps not exactly comforting but acceptable because true. within its own framework, a life is amazingly capacious so it can contain many opposite. athill treats us to several of her own. much of "somewhere towards began to" they're buying emerges as a myth braking account that runs against the grain of many received notions of romance, death and guilt and the experience of old age. and perhaps her most lyrical line in a book that generally avoids over lyricism, athill writes we are not just dots at the end of thin black lines projecting into nothing, but
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parts of the broad many colored river teeming with beginnings, ripening is, decay, new beginnings. still a part of it and our donner and will be part of it. we congratulate dianne. [applause] >> i obviously am not diana athill but my name is tom, her editor at norton. for those of you who read the book you know that dalia is a wonderful writer but she turns out to be a wonderful correspondent and it's been my pleasure to get e-mails from her. she's 92 now and she's on e-mail. she sends them regularly to see that she had been a finalist and said what fantastic news. this little book never stops astonishing me. i'm sure the competition must be formidable so we mustn't allow ourselves wild imaginings but being a final list, wow.
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[laughter] this commitment from a woman who for 50 years sat at award shows hoping to win but expecting the worst of what she called sadistic ceremonies which of their competitors in their dresses have to sit around waiting to learn who won trying hard to reduce their brave smile in case of disappointment. [laughter] that is how she described the price she had won the autobiography category but lost the best in show to sebastian very. and she wrote again just before that happened she said dear tom, at this and i have to report the world seems to have from mad although today's ago i was ill with a horrible but to enjoy yet it was amazing to know hardly a newspaper here without an article about me with picture in it that the newspaper was prepared to pay for and extract. today alone i had a long interview with an apparently enamored young man from the times. [laughter] and a briefing about a television interview on a program and told can have 4 million viewers. i still don't believe the book will win the prize but i'm beginning to think after all of this, anything could happen.
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so sanders cost. it really is most extraordinary having lived all these years as a cheerful but inconspicuous bluestocking, gray-haired backseat publishing leedy to have become at 91 a sort of show stopper. [laughter] on the day i still will not yet realized i went to a party and it was a jolt dropping. they went on as if a great beauty had arrived. [laughter] i'm sure when she wakes up tomorrow to this news she will be as profoundly honored and grateful as i am to accept this award for her. on diana's behalf, thank you. [applause] >> good evening. my name is eric banks and i had the pleasure of chairing the committee on biography this year. i'm going to read the names of our five finalists.
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blight bailey "cheever." brad gooch "flannery, a life of her little flannery." benjamin moser "why this world," oxford university press. stanislao pugliese, bitter spring. and martha sandweiss, passing strange, penguin press. and to announce the award this year i will turn the microphone over to stevan. [applause] >> of the nbcc award for biography this year goes to blake believe for "cheever." [applause]
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writing fiction saved john cheever's life. on the strength of a collection of short stories that he himself considered so wretched that he tried to destroy all copies of it. cheever was mustered out of the 22nd infantry regiment and into writing fiction for the army navy screen magazine. assigned to storm a utah beach on d-day, most of the soldiers he trade with eventually died in combat. cheever's stories including the summer, the 548, the country has been the and the enormous radio seem indelibly etched into the canon of american literature. the stories of john cheever won the 1979 nbc award for fiction. blake braley whose biography of richard yates was an nbcc finalist in 2004 offers an ancestor's to afterlife biography of an heir to the
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yankee protestant ascendancy whose kitchen was littered with models. a prodigious feat of research that require the processing published pages and coaxing testimony out of reluctant witnesses. his exhaustive account fills more than 700 pages. bailey's attentive to his triumph as well as binges. john cheever toward the end of his life once wrote literature has been the salvation of the damned. literature has inspired and guided converse, routed the despair and perhaps in this case can save the world. literature saved cheever from an early death in battle but in a lease portrait it could not save him from his own tormented self. we congratulate blake bailey. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i am blake daily by the way. [laughter] wow. thanks very much to the book critics circle for this honor. this was in many ways a dream project for me, and i had so much help every step of the way. the cheever family was an believably supportive and their attitude toward their father was touching and been using. they always spoke with him with a deep affection but also with iran not activity and that is an ideal situation. and a certain 80.
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it was wonderful collaborating on this and in the and they didn't accept for a few factual quibbles anyone who reads my book knows that it's pretty devastating in places but they just wanted the truth. i'm blessed in a wonderful agent david mccormick who supported me at a time when i needed all of the support i could get. i have a wonderful editor at knopff why a door, my beloved mother who has had an unwarranted degree of faith in me. finally my wife who i love more than words can say. thank you three much. [applause]
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>> my name is james marcus. it was my privilege to chair the criticism committee this year. for criticism "notes from no-man's land." stevan burt "with nonsense." "dancing in the dark a cultural history of the great depression." david hajdu "heroes and villains." and greg milner "perfecting sound forever," the award of the citation will be announced by. [applause]
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>> i am pleased to say that the award goes to "notes from no-man's land." [applause] essayist began her career as a poet and notes bears that lyrics stand her pro is taking on heavy duty subjects in camouflage of their weight. in the time and distance overcome the desperation of the network of telephone poles with the history of lynching. is this kansas recounts the time among the rowdy students of all iowa city and the treatment of new orleans residents during katrina. obscure pairing is also the most. in no man's land a fragment of the pioneer story of little house on the prairie author laura ingalls wilder with this experience as a new president in the rogers park section of chicago. insights from the mundane on the
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sidewalk as the voice of mets to a packed down. this leaves us realizing that our country remains rich by the same myth, fear and enthusiasm that we have had since we settled the prairie only in modern. this is america is a land of unexpected siblings and strange adoptions, of change, adaptation surprising industry. when i was young, she writes, i believe to the art and swift telephone wilders was beautiful. now i tell my sister those polls, these lawyers do not look the same. nothing is and isn't my sister reminds me but nothing i would like to think remains of pretended -- unrepentant. this is telling the story of our country and it's one we never saw coming. we congratulate you. [applause]
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i didn't allow myself wild imaginings so i actually have nothing to say except that there is no award i would rather receive from people who care about books and read books for a living. it is just incredibly meaningful and i know there is some etiquette out there that authors are not supposed to talk about their reviewers but i do want to thank lizzy because she wrote three previews of my book and they were not only positive, they were positive reviews but these were previews that understood what i was trying to
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do with the book and i got other positive reviews that understand what i wanted to do and that was really meaningful and i'm deeply appreciative. also from my editor at ann curry wolf who happens to have three books that he edited for nomination tonight which seems kind of incredible. i guess the only other thing i will say is that when i was writing this book about race which is scary to write i kept comforting myself by thinking no one will ever noticed this book. no one will notice this book. it will be published by small press and no one will ever read it. so you took away my comfort. [laughter] but thanks. [laughter] [applause]
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ibm tiffin, the co-chair and i am announcing the finalists the national book critics circle of poetry. and they are "versed." "av village life." "chronic," "captive voices new and selected poems 1960 to 2008," from louisiana state university press, "and museum of accidents," from wave books. james marcus will announce the winner.
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>> the winner of this year's nbcc award for poetry is "versed." [applause] for much of her lengthy career, rae has caught the skeptical eye of american language as if it needed a background check to be to check and risk. it was the musical words to arouse suspicion, it was capacity to sneak in bad faith and political flab under the radar, yet the poems is set to focus on the capitalism and consciousness that have nothing of the ideological hall monitor about them. they are instead playful, poignant and metaphysically alert. never more so than in "versed," her tent collection. here is a fondness for the snub nose decreased to american poetry by william carlos williams. her attitude to this sort of
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simple objects that prompted williams team is accretive no ideas but of things is a little bit more complicated. she begins name-calling with a tongue in cheek denunciation. objects are silly, lonesome as the word al yet she seems willing to pay the mind. could we grant them a quorum, dance with a shiny gloss of the leaves, the resilience of open-ended questions. she is similarly ambivalent about the very idea of metaphor. on the one hand, it strikes her as an endless series, and integer she writes metaphor is a ritual sacrifice. it kills the look-alike. yet her own poems are constructed out of marvelous strictly rationed its of figurative language and she knows we are more or less stock with what she calls the mesh of the new york approximations. it is a witty reef of the richer relationships of words to the things they represent. she asks what there were a hit in play calling one thing by a mother's name.
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there is. doubters need only emmerson self -- immerse themselves. we congratulate her on her work. [applause] >> congratulations. >> thank you. thank you for that introduction. this is great. thank you, unknown book critics. i wrote a little something just in case, but i always said i was grateful, so -- [laughter] it feels weird to be singled out because i know how many great books of poetry were published last year including those of the other finalists here tonight.
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i guess i should thank steve who is a critic who has written about me. and he's here tonight and i should thank some of my poet friends and even a fiction writer friend for proofreading drafts. those people would be drawn and fanny and the the the davis. we will counter as a poet, on every poet for the occasion. and of course i should thank the people at wesley. my great editor, suzanne, who couldn't be here tonight, but basically told me when to stop. and stephanie eliot, who is here tonight and is just a tireless and buoyant person who helped bring the world, not the world, bring the look out into the world and push it out there.
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i didn't -- i really didn't expect when i was riding at least the second half of "versed" that i would be standing anywhere in 2010 and let alone a pierce of this is extra sweet. thank you again. [applause] >> i am david. it was my pleasure to chair the fiction committee this year. it's nice to see a full house. and so the finalists for the fiction prize are bonnie joe campbell for "american salvage" from wayne state university press. marlin james "the book of might win an." "blame," "will hall," "and mark
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and termite." and linda rebels is going to announce the winner and present the citation. >> i'm so happy that we are giving the award to hillary mantell's "wolf hall." i read mantell's "wolf hall," gration and myself to a score or so of pages a day to prolong the pleasure of the book given to me. then to my surprise when i got within 60 pages of the end i did something i hadn't done since i was a teenager which was a while ago. i went back and read the book all over again. this time i finished it. not without regret. i wanted this work of galloping
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wit and invention to go on forever. the story of the rise to power of the brilliant and complicated thomas cromwell, adviser to henry viii, the book takes the genre of historical fiction, turns on its head, and makes it as fresh and new as the latest of post-modern. history has disparaged cromwell, particularly because of his role in the executions of the catholic thomas moore and protestant berlin, but mantell has written his character has been painted as so comprehensively blacked that any reasonable person would think as i did that there must be another side to the story. she finds the other side of that story and gives us a man whose
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politics were far ahead of his time, humanitarian and social radical who is a master of languages and edify error of latin poetry, an adoring husband and father, a man who can speak truth to power brandish stiletto, cook up a ginger sauce, and evaluate the worth of an oriental rug and stay loyal to his friends even when the world shunned him. what a man to get to know. but it's not just mantel's revisionist portrait of cromwell that makes the books or original. it is her style. she is a daredevil who uses the southard person to tell her story and despite all odds succeeds making he has intimate as the army and the first person memoir.
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she hazards dialogue appropriate to the period and yet at times boldly sassy and contemporary. and while for the most part she renders cromwell's elegant prose at other times she employs a kind of itchy and shorthand and which fox actually occur. as one train of thought that ends with today's single word sling a sentence what ever. [laughter] and you know what? it worked because mantel is a magician. she has got all kinds of chicanery up her sleeve, and "wolf hall" is a site triumph of her book. [applause]
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>> i'm not hilary mantel. she says it is a huge donner and i sat to not be here in person to receive it. the best thing that can happen to an author's career is receive recognition from the critics and the public for what you know is your best work. i've been thinking about thomas cromwell and his life for a long time, long before i was a published writer and waiting for the right time to apply myself to it. five years ago life of the time had come and as soon as i began i felt what have i been waiting for. "wolf hall "sequel was on the way and this is the best encouragement. [applause]
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>> as always amazing, isn't it? we sit in a room and away the value of 30 incredible books, the best of 2,009. it's always kind of a thrilling day for board members and i hope for authors and publisher sample of us who love book culture. i need to take a minute to congratulate the folks on the board. barbara is our award chair and we wouldn't be here today in the way we are without her hard work. i also would like a very much turn your program over the board is listed on the back. you've seen some of us, but the board members who have not been on stage, please stand up in the
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audience to really want people to see you. in particular i want to honor the people who served on our board who are leaving the board tonight. [applause] that includes kevin proofer. kevin proofer, jennifer reese, geeta, lizzy, maruy mcclain and williamson who left in the fall. these folks have done work and we will miss them, we will miss the camaraderie, they're which, their critical brilliance. it's been a joy to be with them. you have had a chance to hear some of the commentary that people wrote about the books to life in the citations. those were convinced from the series on blog, www.bookcritics.org to read 30 books in 30 days. you can read of all the finalists on the blog.
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we honored just a handful of a wonderful books in our 30. it's been a wonderful year for publishing. we are already considering books for 2010. i have a stack at home. we are very excited about the authors and the work they are doing. there are many more to come and we hope he will join us down the street. there are books for sale in the back, tickets to the reception for sale in the back and we will see you to have the final step of our solution. it's an annual yvette. this is number 36. thank you for being here. [applause] here are for the authors. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] for more information about the national book critics circle and the nbcc award, is it www.bookcritics.org. >> we are sure the conservative political action conference talking with david pietrusza about his new book, quote coss silent cal's almanac. tell us about the book. >> what he did is compress the wisdom of conservatism and americanism and a few well chosen words, primarily talking about something of significance to this day, the importance of low marginal tax rates and creating investment, creating prosperity, for making the american system work for the average american because when he was in vermont he saw how his
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father would go around to collect tax money from people and he realized it can from ordinary people by the sweat of their brow and should be collected wisely and no more than was absolutely necessary. taxation he said in excess of what was absolutely necessary was theft. >> how long did take you to be essentially gather all of this homespun wisdom? >> well, it wasn't a full-time project. it was something i did in my spare time, collected over the years, read through the speeches. oddly enough, his collections, we would be surprised by this, but people would buy collections of his speeches in the 1920's. they were issued one after another. very popular. doing the research was fairly easy. and in assembling them and then publishing them in this book but also adding introductory essays flat lie calvin coolidge, the people would be mystified by this topic. and talking of biographical issues. and then there were a lot of anecdotes about him which were
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amusing that people like to tell, so we threw that in. and also as appendices through his inaugural address and this have faith in massachusetts. so the people to get the full flavor of what the coolidge intellect and power of persuasion were like because he rose all the way from aldermen to the mayor, state senator, the representative continent governor, governor, vice president, president. he held more elective office is the and anyone else in american history. he worked his way of the wrong which is when you're supposed to do it and you never do it. >> you seem to have a lot passion about the subject. is there another project on the horizon for you? >> well, i'm working on a book about the 1948 presidential election. i've done 1920 and 1960 previously, 1948 is a publisher now. truman, dewey and strom thurmond. people would say that is the truman-dewey
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